The Muskegon Museum of Art will present The Poetry of Metal: David Barnhill and David Huang March 1 through June 10, 2018. The public is invited to an opening reception on Thursday, March 1, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. The reception will be followed by a special presentation by the artists starting at 7:00 pm. Event admission is free.
David Huang is well recognized in the West Michigan art scene for his intricately tooled, hand beaten copper and gold and silver leaf vessels. Shaped into slightly conical bowls from a single disc of copper, these sculptures feature highly complex chased relief designs across their surface and interiors of gold or silver leaf that glow with inner light. The surface designs speak to a wide variety of inspirations, including plant textures, topographical maps, and highly abstracted whorls and decorative patterns. His works are reflect centuries of tradition in metal working, yet possess a modern sensibility in form and design.
David Barnhill is a metalsmith and sculptor whose work is informed by an ongoing exploration on the qualities of metal and the expanding technologies that allow its shaping. His art is based on the Japanese technique of mokumé-gane, a method of fusing together laminate layers of different metals. When repeatedly folded and flattened, the merged layers of metal create a distinct, wood-grain like pattern.
Together, the artists merge a love of material with intricate surface design, tooling, and metallurgy. Their collaborative series, Layered Resplendence, blends the unique patterns of Barnhill’s mokumé-gane with Huang’s sculptural vessels, adding further complexity and surface variation to their respective artistry. According to MMA Senior Curator Art Martin, “The sculptures within this exhibition are a blend of the beauty of material and design.”
The Poetry of Metal is underwritten by DTE Energy Foundation. The Media Sponsor is Blue Lake Public Radio.